Tony at home in Normandy
Born in the Midlands in the then coal mining town of Hednesford in 1944, Tony was the son of a lathe worker. Inspired by his father who was a self-taught classical guitarist, Tony taught himself to play the guitar, saxophone and clarinet and played for many years with the notorious Original Eastside Stompers.
Tony has drawn for as long as he can remember and left school to be a signwriter – going to art school was beyond the family budget, so any job involving paint and brushes was the next best thing. Tony spent 50 long and painful years as a signwriter (lettering, shop fronts, gilding, pub signs etc) and in his spare time honed his painting technique by copying classical painters, especially those of the pre-Raphaelite school. This resulted in a number of commissions for copies of work by Millais, Waterhouse, Alma-Tadema (his favourite artist) and many others. Although mainly working in oils, Tony's work includes theatre poster design, pencil drawings and the odd cartoon.
Tony was only able to realise his ambition of painting full-time following his retirement from signwriting. He has recently become an associate member of the Guild of Railway Artists and one of his paintings has been published in the book Emotions of Railway Art (August 2011).
The artistic gene has clearly rubbed off on his three children who are an art editor, singer/songwriter and actress respectively. Tony now divides his time between London and the Normandy countryside.
Tony in his London studio